Sunday, November 17, 2013

Date-Sweetened Pumpkin Mini Pies with Toasted Marshmallow Topping


Sweet and spicy and covered in toasted marshmallows. TOASTED FUCKING MARSHMALLOWS. The crunch of a toasted marshmallow is one of my favorite things.

And can we talk about pie crust for a minute?

Carbs and fat. THE BEST COMBINATION. Golden and flaky and buttery (Earth-Balancy just doesn't have the same ring to it, but you know what I mean). Can you believe I was one of those asshole children who would eat all the guts out of a slice of pie and throw the crust away? If I could travel back in time and slap some sense into that bratty little ginger girl, I would.

So, these obviously include pie crust. Just a little bit, though, because these pies are small and too much crust would overpower the filling. Trust me.

Now, for the sweetness. Cane sugar and I don't really get along. Pretty shitty problem for a baker, huh? Small amounts don't bother me, but unless I want to dedicate an afternoon to having the shakes, taking a three hour nap, and waking up with swollen joints that last for three days, I don't eat more than a tablespoon of chocolate chips or a few Dandies. Your typical cupcake with a mound of frosting would knock my dick in the dirt before I even finished inhaling it. Lucky me, right?

I've made these with liquid stevia (and no marshmallows) in the past and they were pretty good, but I don't recommend serving purely stevia-sweetened desserts to everyone. It's definitely an acquired taste. But dates? Everyone loves dates. Sweet, sweet dates.

As a side note, don't you think dates kind of look like short, fat, cat turds? I do. But my brain can pretty much make anything look like a turd, a penis, boobs, or a vagina. I'm very mature, and obviously very talented.

I made mini pies because my thrifted food processor is ghetto and small and could only handle enough pie filling for the recipe below. Also, I don't have a pie tin, so I used ramekins. Maybe one day I won't be poor?

Related: I want these for my birthday.

Date-Sweetened Pumpkin Mini Pies with Toasted Marshmallow Topping
Vegan, can be gluten-free. Makes two mini pies in small ramekins (anywhere from 3" to 4.5" will work).
See the very end for instructions for making a 9"pie.

Crust (Use the recipe below, or buy pre-made pie crust. Use Dreena's recipe if you need a gluten-free crust.)
1/2 c + 2 Tbsp unbleached all purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
2 Tbsp Earth Balance buttery sticks, cold (I think the regular EB tastes like shit, so I always use soy-free. It's yummy.)
1-2 Tbsp ice water
3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar

Pie Filling
1/2 c canned pure pumpkin
1/4 package extra firm silken tofu
4-6 pitted medjool dates, soaked in hot water
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 Tbsp cornstarch or arrowroot
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice (store bought or make your own)
1/8 tsp salt

Marshmallow Topping
4-6 large Dandies marshmallows, cut in half

Preheat your oven to 350º.

Cut dates in half and discard pits. In a small bowl, pour boiling water over dates and let sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Grease ramekins with Earth Balance and set aside.

To make the crust, fill a measuring cup with 1/4 cup ice water and a couple ice cubes. Set aside. Whisk the flour and salt together in a medium bowl. Cut in Earth Balance with a pastry cutter until crumbly. Add one tablespoon cold water and the apple cider vinegar and mix with a fork. Keep adding water 1/2 tablespoon at a time until the dough holds together, but isn't sticky.

Roll the dough out on a piece of floured parchment paper. I use 3/16" dowels from the hardware store as a guide because I'm terrible at rolling dough out evenly.

Using the bottom of a ramekin as a guide, cut around it so you have a circle of dough that's the same size as the base of the ramekin. Press the dough into the greased ramekins, spreading it slightly to form a small lip around the edge. Poke the dough all over with a fork. Place ramekins on a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, until crust starts to look cooked but doesn't brown.

While your crust bakes, prepare the filling.

In a food processor, combine the pumpkin puree, tofu, dates, and vanilla and process until smooth, scraping down the sides a couple times if necessary. If you have any stubborn date chunks, take them out and chop them into small pieces, then add them back in and process. Add the cornstarch, pie spice, and salt, and process until everything is combined.

When your crusts are done with their mini baking session, divide the filling equally between the two ramekins.

Place them back on the baking sheet, and bake 35 minutes until the surface starts to crack.

Add halved marshmallows, leaving some space between the marshmallows and the edge of the ramekin. Bake another 5-10 minutes, until marshmallows are toasty and golden. This step could possibly be done by putting the pies under a broiler for a few minutes, but again, I'm ghetto, and my oven doesn't have a broiler.

Cool your pies. Eat them as soon as they're cool, or refrigerate them and eat them (for breakfast!) the next day.

These can be eaten straight out of the ramekins, or you can pop them out and eat them with your hands, like a giant cookie. This is my preferred method of consumption.

If you want to use the filling to make a regular ol' 9" pie, use an entire 16 ounce can of pumpkin and one package of silken tofu, and quadruple the rest of the measurements for the crust, filling, and marshmallows. Pour into an unbaked 9" pie crust and bake 15 minutes at 425º, then lower heat to 350º and bake 50 minutes, until the surface starts to crack. Top with halved marshmallows and bake another 10 minutes, until marshmallows start to brown. Chill in the fridge, and serve.

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